Second Institutional Rhythms and Energy Demand Working Group

On the 7th February 2017, we held the second working group meeting for the Institutional Rhythms project. This time the working group met at Airedale General Hospital and began to develop outputs based on conceptual contributions taken from the project and two practical case examples presented by working group members.

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Jo Davy and Frank Swinton presenting Rapid Improvement work on discharge at Airedale Hospital.

Alexis Keech, Head of Environmental Sustainability for the Yorkshire Ambulance Service, presented on some of the issues resulting from increasing demand for patient transport and on how the service was responding to these increasing pressures. Jo Davy, Head of Quality Improvement at Airedale, presented on work at Airedale to improve patient discharge and flow.

The working group used concepts developed in the first meeting about temporal sequences, cycles, and institutional rhythms to work through potential new opportunities for shifting temporal arrangements to manage and steer demand for hospital services and patient transport.

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Working group members enjoying floorball on a narrow and obstacle filled pitch. But at least it wasn’t forty degrees this time!

As aways there was, of course, time for a (slightly unorthodox) game of floorball!

The third and final meeting of the working group will take place in Leeds on the 23rd May where the group will work on developing further example cases and strategies for disseminating outputs from the project across the NHS.

Click here for more information on the Institutional Rhythms and Energy Demand Working Group process and outputs.

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DEMAND Seminar: Giuseppe Salvia

czopxcbxcaag371Giuseppe Salvia, a DEMAND visitor from Politecnico di Milano, and returning visitor to Lancaster, talked about this research on the consequences of smart technologies in reconfiguring everyday practices.The title of his talk was ‘Smart technology vs smarter people?’

He asked whether a renegotiation of competencies from people to things might undermine people’s capacities and remit for action and decision making. With a focus on domestic life and personal mobility, Guiseppe drew on a range of examples of smart technologies from self-driving cars to automated cooking devices to illustrate how smart technologies extended and distinctly shifted debates about the relations between people and things.

Guiseppe argued that what is significantly different in the case of smart technology is that what is delegated is not work, but decision making. He questioned what the implications of such a delegation of competences would be for demand for energy, not only when smart devices and connected systems always have to be on, but when energy saving skills have been fully delegated to machines. Other questions raised in the discussion were about the delegation and distribution of competencies and the extent to which smart technologies signal changing relationships between people and things. There were also lots of interesting parallels and connections to ongoing work in demand including home heating, online shopping, and domestic IT use to mention just a few.

Guiseppe argued that what is significantly different in the case of smart technology is that what is delegated is not work, but decision making. He questioned what the implications of such a delegation of competences would be for demand for energy, not only when smart devices and connected systems always have to be on, but when energy saving skills have been fully delegated to machines.

Other questions raised in the discussion were about the delegation and distribution of competencies and the extent to which smart technologies signal changing relationships between people and things. There were also lots of interesting parallels and connections to ongoing work in demand including home heating, online shopping, and domestic IT use to mention just a few.

Press: The Future of Sustainable Healthcare: It’s All in the Timing

Untitled picture1.pngWhile I was visiting Beyond Behaviour Change and the Centre for Urban Research at RMIT I was asked to write something from the Institutional Rhythms project for the Australian Hospital and Healthcare Bulletin magazine.

This short piece is about the potential opportunities that arise for the future sustainability of NHS hospitals when demand for resources including, energy, transport, and goods are considered as the outcomes of critical intersections in the timings of working arrangements.

The full article is available here.

Publication: The Nexus of Practice

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Nicola Spurling and I have a chapter in The Nexus of Practices: Connections, Constellations, Practitioners which is edited by Allison Hui, Elizabeth Shove, and Theodore Schatzki and was published in December 2016. The accepted manuscript version of this chapter is available here.

Our chapter calls for a practice theory which begins with complexes of practice and not ‘a practice’, and for one that focuses on the relationships between connections (interconnections). Through examples of hospital life, we develop the concept of connective tissue which both holds complexes of practice together and that is itself an essential feature of practices. The chapter argues that connective tissue has multiple qualities. We argue that studying the interconnections between these qualities is the key to understanding change in hospital life, and other complexes of practice, over time.

TASA 2016

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Panel at TASA. #thatleantho

The Australian Sociological Association’s Annual Conference was held in Melbourne this year, just as I was there visiting Beyond Behaviour Change and the Centre for Urban Research at RMIT. So it was great timing to join the Environment and Society stream. I presented some more of the work from the Institutional Rhythms project and joined in a short question panel on practice theory and sustainability.

 

The title of my talk was ‘Fixity and Flexibility in Hospital Discharge: Temporal Rhythms and How to Entrain Them‘.

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The lens of practice theory. Designed and produced by Sarah Royston.

 

It was great to see lots of new projects presented in the Environment and Society stream that were taking a practice theory approach to investigating interesting empirical cases. There was some more discussion before and after the session about ‘using’ the ‘lens’ of practice theory. See Elizabeth Shove’s contribution in a collection of Responses to the PBES Thinking Notes for more on this.

Publication: Health and Place

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A new special issue in Health and Place on Exercise and Environment and edited by Russell Hitchings and Alan Latham will be published shortly. I have an article in this issue which is available online now here. (An open access version of the accepted manuscript is available here.)

The article is based on empirical work that I conducted while doing my doctoral research, which was, in part, on the establishment and maintenance of habits and routines.